Protesters clash with riot police in Istanbul, during a pro-Kurdish demonstration in solidarity with the people of the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, October 7, 2014.(Reuters / Osman Orsal)

At least nine people were killed and dozens wounded in demonstrations across Turkey on Tuesday, local media reported, as Kurds demanded the government do more to protect the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani from Islamic State militants.

UPDATE: Death toll is now 14

Police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse protesters who burnt cars and tyres as they took to the streets mainly in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish eastern and southeastern provinces. Clashes also erupted in the biggest city Istanbul and in the capital Ankara.

Five people were killed in Diyarbakir, the largest Kurdish city in the southeast, which saw clashes between protesters and police.

A 25-year-old man died in Varto, a town in the eastern province of Mus, and at least half a dozen people were wounded there in clashes between police and protesters, local media reported.

Two people died in southeastern Siirt province, the governor was quoted as saying by CNN Turk Television, and another died in neighbouring Batman. Curfews were imposed in five predominantly Kurdish southeastern provinces after the protests, in which shops and banks were damaged.

Interior Minister Efkan Ala called for an end to the protests. “Violence is not the solution. Violence triggers reprisals. This irrational attitude should come to an end immediately,” he told reporters.

Islamic State fighters have advanced into the southwest of Kobani, increasing pressure on Turkey to intervene in the conflict. The three-week-long assault on Kobani has cost 400 lives, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

PEACE PROCESS

NATO-member Turkey has taken in more than 180,000 refugees who fled Kobani but has refrained from joining a U.S.-led coalition against the Sunni Muslim militants, saying the campaign should be broadened to target the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

ALSO READ  Velayati: Iran will stand against normalizing ties with Israel

Kurdish politicians, part of Turkey’s fragile peace process with the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to end a three-decade insurgency, have criticised Turkey for inaction.

Ankara rejected the criticism. “It is a massive lie that Turkey is doing nothing on Kobani,” Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan said on Twitter. “Turkey is doing whatever can be done in humanitarian aspects.”

He accused Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) of adopting an “irresponsible way of conducting politics” and called the protests “a big injustice to Turkey’s well-meant efforts”.

The Kurdish party had issued a statement saying: “The situation in Kobani is extremely critical. We call on our people to go out into the streets, or support those that have gone onto the streets, to protest the ISIL (Islamic State) attacks and the … stance of (Turkey’s) AKP government against Kobani.”

The fight in Kobani against Islamist militants has become a rallying point for Turkey’s Kurdish community. They see Ankara as partly responsible for Islamic State gaining power.

The situation in Kobani has also led to protests in European cities such as Brussels and Geneva, with hundreds holding PKK flags pouring onto the streets.

Analysts say the growing anger in the Kurdish community and violent protests risk derailing Turkey’s own shaky peace process. Akdogan said such violence will not be tolerated.

“It is irresponsible to create vulnerabilities within the peace process by using events that take place outside Turkey and Turkey is not directly involved in,” he said. (Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Share this article:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Notice: All comments represent the view of the commenter and not necessarily the views of AMN.

All comments that are not spam or wholly inappropriate are approved, we do not sort out opinions or points of view that are different from ours.

This is a Civilized Place for Public Discussion

Please treat this discussion with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

These are not hard and fast rules, merely guidelines to aid the human judgment of our community and keep this a clean and well-lighted place for civilized public discourse.

Improve the Discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.

Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree

You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:

  • Name-calling
  • Ad hominem attacks
  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content
  • Knee-jerk contradiction

Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.

2 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments